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Earthquake Safety for People with Disabilities

Release date: 
January 31, 2020
Release Number: 
DR-4473-PR NR-07

CAGUAS, Puerto Rico – As a community it is important to consider the well-being of all residents including those who have disabilities.

Aftershocks can weaken structures and may occur in the first hours, days, weeks or even months after an earthquake. If this happens Drop, Cover and Hold On. Cover your head and neck with your arms or a pillow until the shaking stops.

People who cannot drop to the ground should still cover and hold on. If using a wheelchair, be sure to lock the wheels and stay in the chair until the shaking stops.

If you have a communication disability, let people know the best way to communicate with you during an emergency. Know how to use medical equipment in the event of a power outage and it is a good idea to pack extra batteries.

People who have difficulties in loud and busy environments can use headphones or earplugs to lower the noise.

Some people with autism may wander away; develop safety plans to help protect them from dangerous situations.

Favorite toys, movies and computer games may help children with autism adjust to new surroundings and ease the stress of transition. Pack extra batteries to run electronics for extended time periods.

If you are experiencing anxiety or stress, know that you are not alone and there are places to get help.

  • Call the Primera Ayuda Sicosocial (PAS) at 800-981-0023 to speak with a crisis counselor.
  • Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (for Spanish, press 2 or text Hablanos to 66746). TTY users may call 800-846-8517.

The Puerto Rico Administration of Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Crisis Hotline is also available at 800-981-0023.

For more information on Puerto Rico’s disaster recovery, visit the Government of Puerto Rico,, and Facebook:


Last Updated: 
January 31, 2020 - 16:29